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Community Care Sites

Problem

 Wyoming is more than just rural – it is a frontier state that lacks the larger scale infrastructure common in other states. Wyoming lacks a coordinated statewide healthcare system. There is no statewide university system. Opportunities can be scarce for advancement, and women in particular face many barriers to self-sufficiency. Women face hurdles to entering and remaining in the workforce and communities struggle to offer enough child care to meet the demands. When child care is available, affordability is a challenge. Communities are not only isolated but also dispersed, making available infrastructure largely inaccessible. Compound this with a high gender wage gap, workforce recruitment challenges, and a volatile economy subjected to the boom-bust cycles of the energy industry. 

 

Solution

Co-locating child care facilities with community college and agriculture extension offices in communities around Wyoming to create a network of Community Care Sites. This will support affordable child care for parents – especially women – who wish to return to school or work.  This will support the growth of an early education workforce to ensure quality and sustainability as students in early education programs can work at the child care facilities. It will attract businesses to the state, helping to diversify Wyoming’s economy, and it will support economic growth as women are able to return to the workforce. Co-locating the facilities also helps expand the idea of institutions of learning as centers for community growth and assists with the often-prohibitive infrastructure costs of building or renovating a site into a code compliant child care facility. It can facilitate easy access to high speed internet for individuals and families that still need those final miles of broadband. It is an opportunity to complete the education circle.   

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Ascend Birmingham

Problem

Black-owned small businesses lack sufficient resources to create and operate a digital presence and platform, which leaves these businesses to operate exclusively by cash only. 

Solution

We are providing black business owners with tools and resources to grow their digital operations with free website software and a free Square terminal to accept digital payments.  Ascend Birmingham is the first of its kind in Alabama, and is accomplished through a partnership with Mastercard, Square, Accion Opportunity Fund, and Sunrise by Lendio. The program created an education curriculum that provides active resources to take small businesses to the next level. Ascend Birmingham will help local small businesses pivot and thrive in the new normal of contactless, safe, and socially distanced business practices.

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South of Southside Arts and Humanities Festival

Problem

While many of Tallahassee’s residents are thriving, areas of the city have languished following years of disinvestment and seem to be all but forgotten by the city, county, and their own Tallahassee neighbors. This has introduced a vicious cycle of poverty that permeates through generations and chips away at the vitality of businesses, schools, health care institutions, and housing, driving residents away and dissuading others from living and investing in these areas. Over the years, economic development sprouted in Tallahassee neighborhoods to the north and east, leaving Southside behind. In 1990 the City of Tallahassee and Leon County recognized the increased unemployment and stagnation on Tallahassee’s Southside and vowed to make changes.

 

Solution

The Soul of Southside Arts & Humanities Festival is an intergenerational festival that celebrates the rich and diverse neighborhood history that exists in Tallahassee’s Southside. The Festival was intentionally programmed to offer innovative events to engage, educate, and inspire the entire community while bringing much-needed foot traffic and exposure to the Southside community. The Festival also served to highlight the inequities and challenges of a community that has been overlooked and under-resourced for too long. This inaugural community-driven event was an overwhelming success and will continue to be a game-changer for Southside Tallahassee and Leon County. 

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Phoenix Small Business Toolbox

Problem

 Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the hardest-hit groups in Phoenix was small businesses. While many are recovering and returning back to post-pandemic levels of business, some are still struggling. There was a plethora of resources available provided from the city, state, and federal governments, but there was neither a centralized place to find those nor an effective way to communicate which resources worked best for certain scenarios. 

Solution

Phoenix decided to act and established the Small Business Toolbox. It is a website that convened all of the resources from different public and private sector entities, so small business can access their resources for assistance in one place. 

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Buddy Dyer, Mayor (Orlando, FL)

Moving to Solar

This week, NewDEAL Leader Mayor Buddy Dyer joined other local and county leaders and organizations in signing the 2030 Solar Pledge to kick off the city of Orlando’s campaign to transition businesses and municipalities to 100% solar energy by 2030. The $420 million investment from the city’s utilities commission will be utilized to transform energy facilities to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. Mayor Dyer noted “solar energy is good for the economy. It’s a green job creator. It’s good for public health and it helps address climate change”, and hopes that other cities will be inspired by this transition and seek alternative energy solutions themselves. To read more about Orlando’s solar campaign, read the article here.

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Ben Allen, Senator (Los Angeles, CA)

Supporting California’s Creative Workforce

This week, California’s governor signed NewDEAL Leader Senator Ben Allen’s California Creative Workforce Act into law, one of the first pieces of legislation to focus on workforce development for the creative arts. This act aims to alleviate the detrimental effects of COVID-19 suffered by California’s arts and culture workforce by offering grants for apprenticeships, job training opportunities, and the ability to earn a living wage through employment. To learn more about how Senator Allen’s bill will support California’s creative sector, which contributes 25% of the entire United States creative economy, read the article here.

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Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor (Lincoln, NE)

Job Training for Struggling Workers

As her city of Lincoln, NE recovers from the effects of the pandemic, NewDEAL Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced new competitive grant funding for job training programs to help low-wage workers who are struggling to get back to work. Funded with American Rescue Plan dollars from the city and the county, the grants are open to higher education institutions, public-private partnerships, and nonprofits offering programs for workforce development. Read more about the grants, which Mayor Gaylor Baird hopes will build “new skills to prepare [workers] to compete in the job market and fulfill the needs of employers big and small”.

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Eric Lesser, Senator (Longmeadow, MA)

Lesser Chairs New Future of Work Commission

A new Massachusetts commission, co-chaired by NewDEAL Leader Sen. Eric Lesser, will develop policies to help prepare the state for a post-pandemic economic future. Lesser has co-chaired the NewDEAL Forum’s Future of Work Policy Group and the idea for the Commission, as well as the work it will do, is based on the Policy Group’s work. The Commission will help analyze ideas like portable benefits and job training incentives to create upward mobility in the workplace. “The Great Depression triggered the need for Social Security,” Lesser said, “Now that we’ve made our way through another crisis, I think it’s exposing again what the gaps are in the 21st century.” Read more about Massachusetts’ Future of Work Commission here.

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Nan Whaley, Mayor (Dayton, OH)

Leading the U.S. Conference of Mayors

This week, NewDEAL Leader Dayton, OH Mayor Nan Whaley was elected the 79th President of the United States Conference of Mayors, succeeding fellow NewDEAL Leader Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. In an address to her mayoral colleagues, Mayor Whaley outlined her priorities, including effectively implementing the American Rescue Plan, securing passage of the American Jobs and American Families Plan, and addressing gun violence. “We are in the middle of a transformational era for our country, and I am humbled by the opportunity to work more closely with our nation’s mayors in this new capacity to make a real difference in the lives of our residents…there is no better time than right now to meet this moment by creating a more safe and equitable future that is available to all of us, not just some of us.”  Also announced were other members of the elected UCSM Leadership team, including the addition of NewDEAL Leaders Lincoln, NE Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to the group’s Advisory Board.

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Troy Singleton, Senator (Moorestown, NJ)

Protecting Small Businesses in New Jersey

This week, NewDEAL Leader Senator Troy Singleton’s legislation to protect small businesses throughout the state from tax burdens on PPP loans was signed into law, providing more relief businesses that struggled during the pandemic. Singleton’s bill ensures that any forgiven Payment Protection Program loans are not subject to state income tax and that recipients can deduct the expenses, which Congress recently affirmed was the intent of the CARES Act. Read more about Senator Singleton’s bill here.